We Are The Character We Have Played In Our Stories
This week, I’m sharing my favorite ideas from “A Million Miles In A Thousand Years”, an amazing book by Donald Miller. It’s a non-fiction book that speaks to how we should think of our lives as stories to be lived, making them more meaningful in terms of how we live it, and how we (and others) will remember ourselves as we grow older and when we eventually leave. This is Day 5.
“I used to believe that charming people were charming because they were charming, or confident people were confident because they were confident. But all of this is, of course, circular. The truth is, we are all living out the character of the roles we have played in our stories.”
This is a fitting closer for the series of posts I’ve been doing this week on Donald Miller’s book but it took me a couple of re-reads of the paragraph above for its meaning to really sink in.
“…we are all living out the character of the roles we have played in our stories…”
The way I understand it, Miller’s point is that we are who we choose to be, who we decide to be, who we practice being. We don’t just become confident, or charismatic, or anything else we consider positive, we first decide to be and then we work at it.
That doesn’t mean we will maintain our desired state at all times, or that everyone will see us that way, but that’s actually besides the point. The point is that we decide and then we try. We work at it.
It’s perhaps the most hopeful part of the entire book. We have and maintain control. We decide and we do.
What’s the alternative? To give up? I can’t fathom that, because that’s a life lived, explicitly or implicitly, on someone else’s terms.
Far better to decide the character we want to play in the story of our lives.